Unnoticed post-void residual urine volume in people with moderate to severe intellectual disabilities: prevalence and risk factors

J Intellect Disabil Res. 2009 Sep;53(9):772-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2788.2009.01190.x. Epub 2009 Jul 16.


Background: Increased post-void residual urine volume (PVR) is often seen in geriatric populations. People with intellectual disabilities (ID) have risk factors in common with these populations.

Aims: To investigate in adults with ID: Feasibility of portable ultrasound bladder scanning; Prevalence of PVR; and Relations with proposed risk factors for PVR.

Methods: In a cross-sectional design, PVR was measured using ultrasound scanning in 346 adults with moderate to severe ID aged 18-82 years. Relationship between increased PVR and the following risk factors was assessed: age, level of ID, gender, ambulancy, medication, chronic illnesses, incontinence and profound multiple disabilities (PMD). Acceptation of scanning and manageability were noted.

Results: Feasibility: All participants were cooperatively undergoing the ultrasound scan and all outcomes were sufficiently interpretable. Prevalence: PVR >or= 150 mL was newly identified in 30/346 persons (8.7%, 95% confidence interval 5.92-12.14). Associations: Higher age (P = 0.001), laxative use (P = 0.001), chronic illnesses other than epilepsy (P = 0.005), profound ID (P = 0.008), incontinence (P = 0.048) and immobility(P = 0.005) are determinants that were associated with urinary retention.

Conclusions: The bladder ultrasound scan is a feasible method to identify increased PVR in adults with more severe levels of ID. The prevalence of PVR in adults is similar to prevalences found in the geriatric general population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Distribution
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Constipation / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Epilepsy / epidemiology
  • Feasibility Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intellectual Disability / epidemiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Sex Distribution
  • Ultrasonography
  • Urinary Bladder / diagnostic imaging
  • Urinary Retention / epidemiology*
  • Young Adult